Round cairn on Winter Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008906

Date first listed: 20-Sep-1962

Date of most recent amendment: 20-Aug-1994


Ordnance survey map of Round cairn on Winter Hill
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This copy shows the entry on 20-Nov-2018 at 15:59:27.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Lancashire

District: Chorley (District Authority)

Parish: Rivington

National Grid Reference: SD 65577 15010


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or multiple burials. These burials may be placed within the mound in stone-lined compartments called cists. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a major visual element in the modern landscape. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands and are the stone equivalent of the earthen round barrows of the lowlands. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Despite limited excavation of the monument during the 1950s, the round cairn on Winter Hill survives reasonably well. This excavation found well preserved organic material both within the cairn and upon the old landsurface beneath. This organic material afforded a rare opportunity to study the local vegetational community at the time of the cairn's construction. Further evidence of this well preserved organic material will exist within the cairn and upon the old landsurface beneath.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a round cairn located on moorland approximately 400m WNW of the summit of Winter Hill at the northern edge of the summit plateau and overlooking a steep drop to the north. It includes a circular earth and stone mound measuring 19.2m in diameter and up to 0.3m high. Limited excavation of the cairn during the 1950s located a central stone cairn c.2.5m in diameter and 1.5m high surrounded by a low outer wall or kerb approximately 18m in diameter and 0.4m high. The intervening space between the cairn and wall was filled initially with well preserved fresh vegetal matter then topped with large inverted turves and finally covered with sub-soil. Analysis of pollen taken from the excavation has given a date of about 1600-1400 BC for the cairn's construction.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 23709

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Bulock, J D, Rosser, C E P, Dimbleby, G W, 'Trans Lancs and Chesh Antiq Soc' in Winter Hill: A Composite Cairn of the Bronze Age, , Vol. 70, (1960), 66-73
Darvill, T, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Bowl Barrows, (1989)

End of official listing